Indian intransigence

The Nation Edit: July 3, 2009
THERE seems no logical reason why the USA should go on mollycoddling India's prejudices against Pakistan, a key ally in its War on Terror, unless it is taking its ridiculous great-power claims seriously, or hopes thus to gain access to a market for its corporations.

Nothing else will explain away the reverent treatment accorded to visiting Indian legislators who called on US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Robert Blake, who had to defend the Obama Administration's giving of aid to Pakistan against the tired old charge of that aid being diverted to use against India. At the same time, in New Delhi, Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna again put conditions of the Mumbai attacks on any talks with Pakistan. India's unwillingness to undertake meaningful talks with Pakistan should be taken at face value, and those talks should not be pursued by the international community until India shows willingness to address the core issue between the two countries, Kashmir, in the light of the solemn commitments it has made at the UN.
It is perhaps not reasonable to expect Indian legislators to be reasonable, and accept the logic of Pakistan maintaining a credible defence against India, but they should have been given a more vigorous defence against the charge they made. The Assistant Secretary countered with perhaps the only argument the Americans could dredge up for an improvement of relations, that US aid was meant to alleviate Pakistani poverty, and that was something which India should welcome. It must be noted that Mr Blake by implication gave the visiting Indians the assurance they were seeking, that American aid to Pakistan would not mean any erosion of Indian military superiority in the region, which is what India really wants protected.The Nation-edit